[USA-CHILE] Has the USA has found a gem of a striker in 18-year-old Juan Agudelo? It's far too early to tell, but after scoring the gamewinner
against South Africa last November – when he was still 17 – the Colombian-born New Jersey boy made the difference in the USA's 1-1 tie with Chile on Saturday.
As was the case when he scored against South Africa in a 1-0 win – becoming the youngest player in history to score for the U.S. national team – Agudelo entered the game with about 30 minutes left. Subbed in at the same time to pair up with him on the frontline was Teal Bunbury, a 20-year-old who also debuted in the South Africa game.
The young frontline duo livened up the U.S. attack while the Chileans held a 1-0 led thanks to Esteban Paredes’ scissors-kick strike seven minutes before they took the field.
With 16 minutes left to play, the USA moved the ball smoothly through the center of the field from their own half.
Center back Tim Ream, also making his second U.S. appearance, delivered a precise pass to Dax McCarty, who one-touched it to Agudelo. As three Chileans converged on Agudelo he worked a wall pass with Alejandro Bedoya and upon receiving it moved into the penalty area, where Sebastian Toro tripped Agudelo to earn the Americans a penalty kick.
Bunbury stroked the penalty kick low just inside the right post as keeper Paulo Garces dived to the left.
Seven of the U.S. players who saw action were making their debut. The most capped player on the field was Bedoya, who was making his seventh U.S. appearance.
Coach Bob Bradley had brought in 23 players into the first training camp of the year and their combined games for the USA totaled 26.
The gathering of
youngsters was Bradley’s audition call to determine whom he would integrate into a team that will have its veterans when the USA travels to Egypt for a friendly on Feb. 9 .
Agudelo, who played his first professional game, for the New York Red Bulls, just four months ago, should be a shoo-in for a trip to Cairo.
Jan. 22 in Carson, Calif.
USA 1 Chile 1
Goals: Bunbury (pen.) 75; Paredes (Seymour) 53.
USA -- Rimando (Johnson, 46), Franklin, Ream, Gonzalez (Wynne, 46), Loyd (Wallace, 73), Larentowicz, McCarty. Bedoya (Alexander, 83) Diskerud, Shea (Agudelo, 60), Wondolowski (Bunbury, 60)
Chile -- Garces, Maglhaes, Toro, Mena, Abarca, Meneses, Silva, Figueroa (Seymour, 46), Paredes, Puch, Gazele ( Dominguez, 71).
Shots on Goal: 4/3
Corner Kicks: 2/0
Yellow cards: USA -- Loyd 23; Chile -- Silva 17, Toro 82.
Referee: Francisco Chacon Gutierrez (MEX).